Basic Dog Grooming Tips – Teeth Brushing, Bathing, Nail Clipping, Ear Cleaning

Although dogs don’t have to suffer from cavities as we human beings do; they can get plaque, gingivitis, and tartar. All these can cause teeth problems and bad breaths. Taking your doggie to the dentist can cost you very much. Worst of all, you will have to put him under anaesthesia since dogs don’t open their mouth “wide open” for the dentist.

So, brushing is essential to better protect your dog’s teeth. When we talk about brushing the dog’s teeth, you may wonder how often to brush. Actually, it’s hard to do but you need to brush it every day. Realistically it may not be possible that much, but even if you manage to brush it twice a week then you are always on the safer side than many dog owners.


Dog Teeth Brushing

Now let’s get into the main thing: how to brush your dog’s teeth?

Before you start the actual brushing you will need to train your pooch for the cleaning. In other words, make it ready for brushing without any hesitation. To make your dog ready, you can follow these steps:
– Gradually make him allow you to touch his mouth. Then, flip up his lips.
– After that hold a clean wet cloth’s corner with your index finger and rub gently on the gums and teeth in a circular motion.
– Make soothing tones to calm down your dog. Talk to him.
– Now, if he gets impatient, stop the process and give him a good treat. Postpone it till tomorrow.
– Repeat all the above steps and try to increase the time duration gradually.

Ultimately, you will find yourself giving your dog a good gum and teeth massage for a long time period without any problem.

Okay, here comes the actual brushing part:
1. Put some dog toothpaste onto a pet brush. Then, allow the dog to lick it off. A finger brush is easier to use.
2. Now, flip his lips and then gently rub the brush against his teeth and gums for about a minute.
3. Give him a treat and stop the process for tomorrow.
4. Again follow the same process slowly increasing the time duration. You may brush those teeth left yesterday for a good result.
Eventually, you will be able to get enough time for thorough teeth brushing. But you will really need to have good patience and understanding of your dog’s nature.

You should never use human toothpaste for dogs or any other pets. The fluoride content in human toothpaste can act as a poison in dogs since dogs don’t rinse and spit the toothpaste as we do. They swallow almost everything you put into their mouth.
Make sure your dog is ready for brushing. He should allow you to touch his mouth freely. Even after allowing you to touch, do not overdo the process at once. Make it a real slow process at first.

No matter which breed of dog you have, it needs regular grooming for a smart appearance.  Let it be a smooth-coated dog or high maintenance breed like a Cocker spaniel, all need your daily care for healthy living. It’s just that you may have to spend less time for smooth-coated breeds whereas you may have to spend a huge amount of time for high breeds. In most high-maintenance breed cases, you may wish to see a professional groomer, but you can easily groom your dog at home if you have the right products and tools for grooming. Sometimes you will also need to understand your dogs’ temperament for smooth grooming. Here are some helpful tips for beginners like you.



Brushing your dog’s hair regularly is very essential for healthy growth. It also helps to make your home free from loose dog hair. For brushing purposes, you basically need to have a wire slicker brush and a metal grooming comb. If you have a long-haired dog then you probably may have a mat splitter. The L-shaped tool with a razor blade simply slices through the mats. You can even purchase a wide-toothed rake if your dog is an extra-long coat breed.
Always remember to remove the mats and loose hair from your dog’s coat before a bath. It helps to protect your dog from skin problems arising from the moisture and bacteria hidden in those mats. If you find it difficult to remove any mats with a wire slicker, brush, or mat splitter then you can make use of electric clippers. But never use scissors to cut mats as some mats form right next to the skin. It can harm your dog poking or snipping off the skin.
While giving a bath to your dog, start from the head and follow across the back, then the chest, legs, and tail. You can place your dog in either a standing or sitting position but a standing position is easier.


Dog Bathing

For bathing, it’s recommended that you get a dog bathtub. Alternatively, a large sink or utility tub for bathing is ideal for small dogs. If you have a large dog then your bathtub is a good option. You will need to have a shower nozzle connected to a flexible hose for good bathing.

Make sure you test the water temperature before you spray on your dog. Test the water on your bare skin first if you are going to wear rubber gloves.
Never give your dog a cold water bath. It not only makes your dog uncomfortable but also gives you a tuff time in removing the dirt and greases. Slightly warm water is ideal for bathing.
If you are applying shampoo for ticks and fleas, you will need to lather your dog thoroughly from head to toe. You will need to keep it for 10 minutes before rinsing.
Make use of regular shampoo for the first lather and rinse thoroughly. Then only use the flea shampoo for a better result.

Always remember to rinse the shampoo thoroughly from your dog’s coat. Otherwise, it may cause skin problems. Squeeze out the excess water using your hands.
Finally, use the towels to dry up. You can make use of dog hair dryers. Once again, brush and comb him thoroughly to get rid of loosened hair.

We have a more in-depth article on bathing your dog at home.


Nail Clipping

Many dog owners dread the thought of clipping their dog’s nails. Even though many dog owners don’t want to take on this task it is important to make nail clipping part of regular dog grooming. To be able to clip your dog’s nails requires some skill and the right dog grooming equipment. Often you can find good basic grooming tools at any pet supply store. Clippers used for clipping human nails absolutely will not do! You must use special dog nail clippers since they have different shapes and are designed to make
clipping your dog’s nails as painless as possible.

When it comes to making it easier to trim your dog’s nails there are various products that aid in the blood clotting process in case of messy clipping accidents.

There are many great methods that can lead to a good way to clip a dog’s nails. For instance, you can get your dog more used to having his paws handled on a regular basis and help ensure a smoother clipping session. Of course, when clipping your dog’s nails for the first time it is a good idea to have a more experienced person do the job and then teach you how to do it.

While many dog clippers have detailed and illustrated instructions on how to clip a dog’s nails, there is nothing quite like watching someone else clip your dog’s nails. Usually, a veterinarian will clip your dog’s nails for you, and starting your dog young makes it more likely that this will lead to having a dog who doesn’t mind having his nails trimmed.

While watching someone else do it you might be able to think up some good questions to ask them about any particular aspects of your dog’s nails.

If your dog has dark nails (as many breeds do) you need to find out just where your dog’s “quick” is located. The ‘quick’ is the end of the vein that lies inside the nail. It is usually easier to see the quick in a light nail. But for a dog with dark nails, you need to look for a darker arch within the nail. You should see a white tip in the middle of the arch. When you can see the tip then you should stop cutting. If accidentally cut it will hurt and can bleed excessively.




You may not have to worry about puppies having to have their nails clipped but it is a good idea to bring the clippers up to their paws and let them “play with it” so your puppy can learn early on that nail clipping is a perfectly normal part of life.

Make sure you have the confidence acquired by learning from a more experienced dog groomer before you work on your own dog. You certainly don’t want your dog to sense any anxiousness on your part or he may become more difficult.

A good way to ensure a calm and easy nail clipping session is by exercising your dog before you start with the clipping. Taking the dog for a walk can tire him out a bit making him more cooperative.  It also helps to reward your dog with treats after a clipping.


Ear cleaning

If you have taken a good look at your dog you will see that his ears are prone to infection. If your dog does have problem ears and keeps getting infections then the good news is that there is information available that can help deal with chronic ear infections.

Dog ear infections are called Otitis Externa; which means that there is an infection in the outer ear. (Otis Interna refers to an infection of the inner ear). Outer ear infections tend to make up 90% of the infections in dogs. What this means is that ear infections are the most common infection that a dog will need to be treated for.

Some dog ear infections are caused by Ear mites. Also, dogs that suffer from allergies are likely to experience more ear infections than other dogs. Infections can also be caused by wax build-up inside the ear. Some dogs can have long hair that blocks the passage of air, resulting in a buildup of wax and also dirt, and debris.

Giving your dog regular ear cleanings will also get it accustomed to having his ears handled and make it easier to administer the treatment.

It is possible to prevent these infections by regularly cleaning your dog’s ears well.  It can be quite simple to clean your dog’s ears with just a soft cloth and some ear cleanser. All you need to do is to lift your dog’s ears and massage some ear cleanser into his ear, which should loosen the dirt. Setting up regular ear cleaning for your dog is a good measure of prevention, especially for dogs with a high risk of ear infections.

For dogs that do a lot of swimming the problem of ear infections becomes more common, especially in dogs not designed for always being in the water.

Some symptoms of an ear infection are smelly ear discharge, shaking his head excessively, redness in his ears, or excessively scratching of the ears. Also, too much scratching can lead to swelling and bleeding. For a serious infection, it might be a good time to get your dog to a vet. Sometimes an infection has to be fought with antibiotics or surgery to permit drainage of the ear
canal. Dogs with more recurring ear infections should have their hair around the ears clipped.

Some dog breeds are more likely to have ear infections than others. Being able to combat ear infections in your dog requires knowing what to look for before any ear infections turn into a serious problem.


These tips, dog grooming for dummies, will surely give you a great grooming experience with a smart and fresh-looking dog.